The military-industrial complex and the big corporations have been very much aware that some people know that the Presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen, and that many people are angry with the black box voting machines that make mass election rigging child's play. So they have had their Plan B in place for years to deal with public outrage, should it ever arise.
As usual, rather than sacrifice a corrupt system that benefits them to the tune of trillions of dollars annually, they will make some cosmetic reforms to the system, enough to let people think there is hope when there really is none. This time it takes the form of paper trails and open source software that will leave the hackable voting machines in place and permit another stolen Presidential election in 2008. The Democratic Party, Common Cause, and many other large organizations are rallying around HR550 which calls for paper trails, or calling for open source software.
The problem with open source or paper trails is that both systems require painstaking and time-consuming recounts in order to verify that no tampering has taken place. A vote cast on a voting machine may look right on the touch screen and on the paper trail, but may not actually be counted as cast when the central tabulator tallies the votes. With open source software elections officials, poll workers who take the machines home with them, and anyone else with access and programming skills can tamper with the election, but only experts can examine the software afterwards to determine if corrupt code had changed the results and then erased itself.
During the time the public is asking for a recount, and the experts are examining the software, the wrong candidate can be installed. As we saw in 2000 and 2004, there is no remedy once they are sworn in. Experts can prove conclusively that the elections were stolen, they can rant, rave, publish their studies, go on radio and TV, blog, write books, but many will still dismiss them as conspiracy theorists or sore losers and the losing candidate will still remain in power.
The solution we need was introduced in Congress in September:
Paper Ballot Act of 2006 (Introduced in House)
HR 6200 IH
H. R. 6200
To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to conduct Presidential elections using paper ballots and to count those ballots by hand, and for other purposes
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
September 27, 2006
Mr. KUCINICH (for himself, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Mr. CLAY, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. FILNER, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Ms. KAPTUR, Ms. LEE, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mrs. MALONEY, Ms. SOLIS, Ms. WATERS, and Ms. WOOLSEY) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require States to conduct Presidential elections using paper ballots and to count those ballots by hand, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the 'Paper Ballot Act of 2006'.
SEC. 2. REQUIRING USE OF HAND-COUNTED PAPER BALLOTS IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
'(7) SPECIAL RULES FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS- Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, in the case of a regularly scheduled general election for the electors of President and Vice President (beginning with the election in November 2008), the following rules shall apply:
'(A) The State shall conduct the election using only paper ballots.
'(B) The State shall ensure that the number of ballots cast at a precinct or equivalent location which are placed inside a single box or similar container does not exceed 500.
'(C) The ballots cast at a precinct or equivalent location shall be counted by hand by election officials at the precinct, and a representative of each political party with a candidate on the ballot, as well as any interested member of the public, may observe the officials as they count the ballots. The previous sentence shall not apply with respect to provisional ballots cast under section 302(a).'.
SEC. 3. MOVING OBSERVATION OF WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY TO ELECTION DAY DURING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION YEARS.
Section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--
(1) by inserting 'the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in 2008 and every fourth year thereafter, and' after 'Washington's Birthday,'; and
(2) by inserting 'in any other year' after 'February'.
The people pushing to keep some type of voting machines in the elections process are very dangerous. They denounce anyone who wants paper ballots as being a "Luddite" or "technically challenged," yet some of the most respected experts have clearly explained why technology is not appropriate for elections systems, as they need to be transparent to the public, not just to experts.
These are desperate times for the war profiteers. If the wrong person is elected President in 2008, they could all be tried for crimes against humanity. And if we had honest elections, it could actually happen. Someone with a conscience like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. could become President, instead of somebody like Hillary Clinton or other top Democrats who own stock in or accept donations from big defense contractors and happily vote to fund any war that comes along while the country sinks further and further into debt.
So the paper trail and open source people are taking no chances. They have targeted the top political leaders in the country and they are on every blog and mailing list. If anyone talks about hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) they start the smears, personal attacks, belittling, and dismissals that are their only weapons in lieu of reasonable arguments.
HCPB is the cheapest, most reliable and transparent elections system known. With HCPB you don't have the wrong candidate sworn in while the experts are still trying to examine the software or demand a recount--in fact you don't need experts at all. Machines and experts have no place in our elections, they belong to We the People. But only if we can take them back from the experts who have stolen them.